In the age of social media, Facebook has taken on the untrustworthy ethos of the corporation. A recent New York Times report alleges the social networking giant gave some of the world’s largest technology companies intrusive access to its users’ personal data.
Internal documents show that the social network gave Spotify and Netflix the ability to read its users’ private messages, while allowing Microsoft, Sony, and Amazon to see the names and email addresses of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent. It also granted Apple rights to build special features that plugged into the social network and allowed Yahoo to view streams of friends’ posts as recently as this summer.
The report surfaces despite public statements by Mark Zuckerberg in a Senate hearing that it had stopped that type of sharing years earlier. The move was actually seen as mutually beneficial to all parties. “Facebook got more users, lifting its advertising revenue. Partner companies acquired features to make their products more attractive,” New York Times goes on.
“The records underscore how personal data has become the most prized commodity of the digital age, traded on a vast scale by some of the most powerful companies in Silicon Valley and beyond.”